Tag Archives: God

Pray Without Ceasing – Myth Busters 2

My sister asked me a very good question the other day – ” If God knows how and when a person will die why should we pray for them to recover from an illness if they are going to die anyway?” The short answer I presented was that God commands us to pray for the sick. After all He may know when a person is going to die – we don’t! We went on to discuss if this situation was in contradiction to the argument outlined in the previous blog (see Myth Busters). If it’s Gods’ will that someone is going to die then our praying for their healing is useless. Isn’t it?

If only it was that easy a thing. God’s not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9b KJV and even though He clearly knows all and sees all it can not be assumed that every human death (or suffering for that matter) is ordained by Him. There are so many reasons we have trouble in this life. Sickness, disease, accidents, acts of violence are only a few things that happen all around us.Simply because we are powerless to stop something doesn’t mean it an “act of God!” Jesus warned us –I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Living Bible

So, what about praying for someone you love who is suffering with a terrible sickness? James gives an example of what to do – Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5:14-15 KJV  Paul puts it very simply in his letter to the church – Pray without ceasing. 1Thess 5:17 KJV Jesus is our example Who we see praying always. 

I saw a sign years ago that read – Live each day as if it’s outcome depends on you and pray each day as if it all depends on God.  At face value this may seem contradictory and maybe somewhat egocentric. But we are expected to be a good steward of the gifts that God has given us, which I believe includes our bodies, mind and spirit as much as our gifts and possessions. Yet, Jesus told us that without Him we can do nothing. John 15:5 KJV So, we pray. Pray and then pray some more and afterwards, pray some more. We do not know what God will do with the prays that He hears from you. But I am sure of this  – He will hear you and He will be proud of you for bringing this situation to Him. The Bible is full of examples of how we are powerless without God as well as examples of how prayer has changed events. But if you do or do not get the answer or result you prayed for that does not mean God doesn’t hear you. We will live and die by the Faith we have (or lack thereof) in Him.

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For God is not the author of confusion 1Cor 14:33 KJV This is why I steer clear of confusion caused by controversy and the landmines of arguments about God and Heaven and the Bible by asking myself one simple question. “Does my Salvation depend on this?” If the answer is a firm “NO!” i move on. Are my pets going to heaven? How old will I be in Heaven? Where will I live in Heaven? Will I need to sleep in Heaven? I do not know the answer to any of these questions and am not concerned with finding the answers either. Rather, I am more concerned with making sure I GET TO HEAVEN ! Once there all those questions will be answered. Now, if a controversy or the confusion about something in the Bible or my walk threatens my relationship with God and my possible goal of reaching heaven I need to keep it simple and decide if I am going to trust Jesus or turn away.

When faced with unanswered prayers and disappointment we are at a crossroad in our walk with Jesus – Trust in Him and live or doubt Him and die.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life  Deut 30:19KJV

Let The Games Begin!!!

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The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games, are being held in Sochi, Russia and all eyes were on the opening ceremony last night. The teams entered the stadium proudly lead by their nations flag with broad smiles as they waved – they have arrived. Years upon years of hard work inspired by the dream of being an Olympian have brought all of them here. Today. For this, and now they are here! From the veteran members who have taken this walk before, to the newcomers who can hardly contain themselves, the faces can not hide the excitement of the moment. Tomorrow they will compete. Some will fall. Some will cry. All will strive and give their best but ONE will win. OK, Three will win (Gold Silver and Bronze) but you know what I meant.

I can appreciate the level of commitment and hard work these athletes have endured to get to Sochi. They set aside the better part of each day to train. They worked through the pain, self-doubt, discouragement, fatigue and distractions. They had a goal in sight and their gaze was unwavering. Day after day and year after year. What commitment! What determination! What devotion! To reach the Olympics and WIN the prize!

Jesus was such an athlete. He knew what He needed to do and set His face towards winning the Prize. He endured so much on His way to win the prize. For 3 1/2 years He traveled teaching and preaching to both the eager and the skeptic. His Haters tried to trip him up and bring Him to shame. Even His followers disowned Him when the road got rough. Yet, He endured. Who knows which was worse for Him to bear. The rejection and hatred from the people He loved or the lash across His back? The pain of being spat in the face or having His skin pulled off with fistfuls of His beard? The hanging on the cross like a common criminal or the separation from His Father as the sky turned black? Yet, He endured. For the Prize.

 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 Living Bible

We are the prize! We are the Joy that He endure it all to reach! We are the Gold medal around His neck! We are! The Word of God tells us the He would come and that in coming He would be the Lamb Who would take away the sins of the world. John the Baptist announced this while standing in the Jordan River. Jesus knew what course of action He must take to win the prize as He walked from the Jordan River that day.

 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3:21,22 KJV

In Thee I am well pleased! – Before Jesus healed a single person, preached a single sermon, raised anyone from the dead, opened any blind eyes or deaf ears. Before Jesus did any of the things we hear the most about – God the Father said He was well pleased with Jesus. Why or what was His Father so pleased with? I believe He was pleased with Jesus’ decision to take the first steps towards the goal of winning the Prize even though He would have to walk down a road that would be hard, painful and discouraging. In spite of the years it would take. No matter how hard or lonely. Even when self-doubt and temptations came. Jesus’ resolve was firm. His eye was on the prize and no one and nothing would stop Him.

We are that prize. Our freedom was WON for us by Him on the cross. No Olympic grandstand holds the glory of the Cross of Jesus Christ because He won something more precious then Gold or Silver or Bronze. He WON YOU!…….. and now its your turn to run the race and win the prize. This short life we live is our race and the prize is Eternity with Him in Heaven. He secured it for us on the cross but we have to claim it for ourselves and reach the goal…….. Paul encouraged all of us with theses words….Let it become our anthem…..

….. In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around. Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside. 1 Cor 9:24-27 Living Bible

Black Friday Deal!

Hurry, hurry! There’s a door-buster Black Friday Deal waiting for you!

   This deal is without a doubt the best deal ever! It is the best deal ever because you can get this deal today as well as tomorrow and Black Friday. For that matter this deal is available every day of the year 24/7! Really!

But most of all – IT’S FREE!

   The Deal is this – Rest for the weary, Love for the Lonely and Hope for the Broken-hearted. Jesus said for all who are tired and carrying a heavy burden to come to Him and He will give them rest.1 He also tells us that ALL of us have sinned – that is we have fallen short of the mark. 2 But this is why He came to us and died for us to pay the price for us. Not to condemn us but to save us instead.“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. John 3:16-18 The Message

Take a moment today, apart from your holiday planning or shopping or whatever it is you are doing and consider your heart. Jesus said that He will take away your old heart and give you a new heart – Freely! He said He stands at the door of your heart and is knocking – will you let Him in? He said that all who come to Him He will not refuse. Call out to Him now and He will meet you right where you are. That’s a Promise from God to YOU!

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For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.Eph. 2:8-9 NKJV

Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. Romans 3:24-25 The Message

1.  Matthew 11:28 NKJV Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest

   2. Romans 3:2 NKJV …for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God